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STORYLINE: Mild-mannered taxman Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) thinks he’s going crazy when he begins to hear a narrator’s voice, but he doesn’t pay it much mind until he hears, “Little did he know that events had been set in motion that would lead to his imminent death” — inspiring him to go in search of the author who means to pen his demise in her book.

ABOUT THE SCRIPT: Charlie Kaufman comparisons abound, but Helm was actually thinking of Pirandello’s “Six Characters in Search of an Author” and Tom Stoppard when he started the script in 2001. “I have like the slowest career path ever,” says Helm.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: To kill or not to kill Harold Crick: That was the question. “We knew that we couldn’t have him live and the book be a huge, monster success,” Helm says.

BREAKTHROUGH IDEA: “My favorite scene in the movie is the very first scene I wrote, in which Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman) asks Harold a series of questions trying to determine what story Harold is not in,” Helm says. “I realize now it was actually a process by which I was trying to figure out which story I was writing.”

CHOICE LINES: “It’s not schizophrenia. It’s just a voice in my head,” Harold tells his therapist. “I mean, the voice isn’t telling me to do anything, it’s telling me what I’ve already done. Accurately, and with a better vocabulary.”